With a global economic slowdown over 3 months driven by the COVID-19, many of us have lost our jobs, or have had our salaries reduced or been asked to take our annual leave, paid followed by an extended unpaid leave if we need to keep our jobs. Employers are evaluating their finances as you read this post and in most cases, the figures will be found to be concerning. They would be required to take immediate actions in the company needs to survive and unfortunately, it is the employees who be the unwanted targets.
1. How Urgent is the Need?
If you are not an active job hunter and you are currently employed, you may want to consider putting your job search on hold for a while. Consider exploring new training areas to horn new skills or dive deeper into the knowledge of your expertise rather than stick to what you’re your employer wants you to do. Increase your job security and make your position stronger.
If you are not employed, do not think of your next job as the perfect job. It might be short-term before you move to a new role, given the circumstances. You may need to take up a new job just to pay your bills.
While most industries and companies have been hit hard, there are quite a few jobs and industries that are doing well. Yes, you heard it right. You may want to read more about some of these jobs.
2. Get Comfortable Networking Online
Join online platforms and professional groups to share experiences, articles, support others, publish content in your areas of specialization. It goes a long way to get more “your name brand” presence and will also help you when future employers can read some of your publications and supportive work. You may also want to do online video training on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
Network with like-minded professionals and experts and learn from them. It only helps in the long run.
3. Stay In Touch
Working remotely may have kept you away from staying in touch with hiring managers, influencers, and decision-makers. This could even be your own hiring manager. Call them, see what is going on on the recruitment front with your current or previous employer or past recruiters and recruitment managers that you may have met or interviewed. You may even want to check on any feedback that they have for you to help you get a job.
Make sure you also demonstrate a thoughtful attitude. Rather than asking them to help you, ask if there is anything you can assist them with.
4. Gather Intelligence Reports
Seeing how a company treats its employees during a crisis will help you understand the company and the decision-makers. Do they offer extended work from the home facilities and the infrastructure to support their employees? did they extend working hours till late at night? was there more communication from the HR and managers to find out how their employees and family were doing? did they treat their employees with care? or were there phone messages and emails telling their employees that their services have been terminated?
Set up google alerts on the latest news about companies. How you treat people tells a lot about a person or a company.
5. Use the Time to Reflect
Don’t just jump at the first job opportunity you get. You don’t want to land in the fire. Reflect on what options you have? what you really want? what does your family need? are there any changes to your career path? are you enjoying your job and doing it for the sake of the salary? Businesses have slowed down along with economies, so do you. Take a deep breath and rethink your goals.
6. Boost Your Skills
There are plenty of free training courses that you can do – I have taken up digital marketing. From SEO basic to advance to content to link building – I am much better than I was 3 months ago. The world has digitally advanced. You can find everything you need and use it to build your skills and knowledge, not only for your career but also for your family.
There are plenty of free online courses EdX classes (free MIT and Harward courses), and free Microsoft training and tutorials. Free digital marketing courses from Neil Patel to Semrush
You can lay the groundwork now so that when the crisis is over you have opened doors and rekindled relationships.